Thoughts on the Tube

27 March 2008
Saturday morning in the 1980s. Jump out of bed, bound to the kitchen and grab a bowl of Cap'n Crunch with Crunchberries. Turn on the tv and park tush in bean bag right in front of the screen. The Smurfs outwit Gargomel, the Gummis bound around, Kissyfur is cute an learns a lesson, life is good. No one uses strange mystical powers to summon dark forces or kung fu fights anyone else. The bad guy is never really evil. Good always wins. During commercials you learn about forest fires, taking a bite out of crime, and to pick up litter. Sometimes you get to see how a bill is passed or learn about adjectives, and you have fun doing it! You're a kid, you are having fun, and you are happy.

The Cosby Show, The Wonderful World of Disney, MacGyver, Mr. Belvedere, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and Webster...these were shows the family watched together. One could watch television with their children then. Can you even image cuddling up with your kids to watch something like Desperate Housewives? Not that anyone would think that is child friendly viewing, but I use it as an example of the decline in family oriented television shows. We recently quit watching regular tv because I felt there was so little on that the children should watch. If we were an adult only household, we'd probably still have it because there are a few shows I really liked to watch. But we are not; we are parents of two impressionable children. By getting rid of tv service, I feel we are protecting them from influences that are trying to make our children grow up too fast. Not that tv is the only negative influence, but it is a large one, and one of the few we as parents can control. So, we had the satellite turned off, but we still enjoy television shows with our kids.

Our answer has been to turn back to the programs of our youth and even beyond that. Thanks to Netflix our family is currently enjoying lots of "oldies but goodies". Our kids are watching things like Duck Tales, Gummi Bears, Danger Mouse, and the Anne of Green Gables mini series. As a family, we've enjoyed the original Mission Impossible series, Taxi, and ALF. Now, I openly admit that Mission Impossible and Taxi can sometimes have a suggestive line or two, but suggestive 30 or 40 years ago is a lot easier for us to handle than what's on tv in 2008. It's been fun to share shows from our childhoods with the kids. Mission Impossible has sparked some interesting conversations, "What's the Cold War, Mom?" and a lot of "That wouldn't really work!". I have a feeling our kids are going to be way too analytical of MacGyver, lol. These are things we can watch together without the sex, violence, drugs, etc.. worries I had when we had the satellite.

It is sad that today's programming has to add to all the other influences that are trying to make our kids grow up too fast. Teenagers on tv who were once role models are having babies...that is not the kind of example I want being set for my kids. Unfortunately it is all too common. So, I am going to do whatever it takes to let my children be children for a little bit longer. Mud pies and bike riding are the past times of choice around here, and I hope it stays that way as long as possible.

What are your favorite tv shows from decades past? I am always looking for new family friendly ideas to add to our Netflix list. Please post any suggestions you might have. Thanks!

While writing this post and strolling down memory lane, I came across the coolest website, The Triplets and Us. It brought back a ton of memories and has a lot of fun stuff to check out. If you are a child of the 80s I encourage you to stop by.

1 comment:

Alyssa @ KeepingTheKingdomFirst said...

I loved the Flintstones. Did you ever watch Kids Incorporated? I was hooked on Nickelodeon in the 80s.